Friday, 18 July 2014

My Novel Known as Aunt Sophie

Christian Nauck could do the graphic novel.
Everyone needs a crazy aunt who can drag them into adventure. For Denise Fagmilia-and-Paterfamilias, that's her Aunt Sophie.

When her mother Madre dies, apparently of illness, Denise Fagmilia is sold into indentured servitude. This is dreadfully unfair, and rather illegal, as Denise does have a living father. Somewhere.

"IF you had a father," she's told, "He wouldn't want you. You have no Talent."  It's true. In all her twelve years, Denise hasn't shown a single scrap of magical Talent.

Before she is sold on, her Aunt Sophie comes to rescue her. Aunt Sophie also brings with her the suspicion that Madre might have been murdered.  In her grief, Denise discovers she does have a talent.She can scry the dead.

As an epidemic sweeps the kingdom and political factions threaten civil war, Aunt Sophie takes Denise from the streets of Hometown to the Palace and audience with the King himself. With her Talent discovered, lots of people want Denise.

Sophie agrees with Denise on one vital thing; Denise needs to be reunited with her father, albeit for reasons other than what Denise believes.  Denise simply wants a family. But Aunt Sophie knows that Denise will help stop a civil war--or start one.

TNKAAS is a NaNoWriMo novel with magic and steampunky flavour. It's sit quite nicely on the shelf next to some Scott Westerfield.

I wrote the first half in a November, and then finished the draft some time after that.  Right now it feels like a YA, but I don't know if I want it to be a YA. It's a little too heavy for a MG. Some readers balk at the thought of an adult novel with a child protagonist. And for further thought, who's the true protag? Sophie or Denise? The novel is from Denise's POV, but Aunt Sophie is very much the mover and shaker here.  I'll have to do another draft and see if I can change the mood.

A note: When I'm drafting something, I'm terrible with names. Completely terrible. I can't even come up with a title. So terrible, I'll concoct these rich, round characters with histories and baggage and goals and dreams, but I can't tell you their name.  Aunt Sophie and her partner Mathu are the only ones in this series who have proper names. Everyone else is named with placeholders.  That's why the two families are called Fagmilia and Paterfamilias.  Even Denise's name is a punnic placeholder.  Eventually I'll source names when I need to. Until then, this is what they're called.

Her Grace is happy to let this one age for a while. But it does have potential, if written the right way.

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